42nd Global Privacy Assembly Closed Session, 2020

On 13-15 October 2020, the Global Privacy Assembly Closed Session – At your desk was held, for the very first time online. The event was hosted by the GPA Secretariat at the UK’s Information Commissioner’s Office. This most important annual meeting of the Global Privacy Assembly (GPA), gathering among others representative of data protection authorities from all over the world, representatives of the European Data Protection Supervisor and the Council of Europe, was attended by over 100 GPA Members and Observers.
On behalf of the Personal Data Protection Office, Urszula Góral, Director of the International Cooperation and Education Department, took part in the event.
The 42nd Global Privacy Assembly Closed Session was opened by Elizabeth Denham, the UK’s Information Commissioner, who highlighted the work carried out over the past few years by the Global Privacy Assembly on modernizing the assembly, setting the strategic direction and building the capacity of the GPA, thanks to which GPA was ready for the COVID-19 related challenges in 2020.
This year’s event was divided into three 3-hour long online sessions, each of them followed by a discussion.
The 1st day of the Conference was devoted in particular to reviewing the progress on the GPA strategic plan, agreed on at the last year’s 41st International Conference in Tirana, and namely key achievements in this regard, i.e. three strategic priorities including: advancing global privacy in the digital age, maximising the GPA’s voice and influence on the international arena and capacity building.
The 2nd day of the event focused on the GPA’s role in responding to the challenges related to the COVID-19 pandemic, stressing a key role and contribution of the GPA COVID-19 Taskforce established to drive practical responses to privacy issues emerging from the pandemic. During this session, the activities of the Taskforce were discussed and specific results of its works were presented, including the draft Resolution on the Privacy and Data Protection Challenges Arising in the Context of the COVID-19 Pandemic.
The first topic discussed on the 3rd day of the Conference was the future of the Conference. The Chair of the GPA Future of the Conference Working Group presented an update on the work.
Next, the results of the voting by the GPA Members on Working Groups Reports, Report of the Executive Committee 2020 and Report of the 41st International Conference 2019 were announced – all the reports were adopted.
The subsequent point on the agenda was the discussion and adoption of the resolutions on key issues by the GPA Members.
A crucial point of the event was announcement of the results of the voting by written procedure conducted among the GPA Members in the elections of the members of the GPA Executive Committee. Prof. Ulrich Kelber, Federal Commissioner for Data Protection and Freedom of Information in Germany, was elected as the new GPA Executive Committee Member, and Angelene Falk, the Australian Information Commissioner and Privacy Commissioner, was re-elected for a second term.  
Finally, the floor was taken by the host of the next GPA Conference, President Commissioner of the National Institute for Transparency, Access to Information and Protection of Personal Data, who invited to participate in the Conference in 2021 in Mexico.
During the 42nd Global Privacy Assembly Closed Session five important resolutions were adopted:
  1. Resolution on Facial Recognition Technology,
  2. Resolution on the Role of Personal Data Protection in the International  Development Aid, International Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management,
  3. Resolution on Accountability in the Development and Use of Artificial Intelligence,
    The Personal Data Protection Office was a co-sponsor of this significant document,
  4. Resolution on the Privacy and Data Protection Challenges Arising in the Context of the COVID-19 Pandemic,
  5. Resolution on Joint Statements on Emerging Global Issues.


All the documents adopted at the 42nd Global Privacy Assembly Closed Session and official summary of the event will be soon published on the GPA website: https://globalprivacyassembly.org/.
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